Escapism lives at the heart of Sasha Perera’s experimental project, Perera Elsewhere. Since her debut album as a solo artist, Perera has been carving out a sound and space of her own – one which maintains the aim of taking her listeners somewhere else. Following her accomplished All Of Me album in 2017, Perera has just released a new EP. Drive is a concentrated and synth-heavy EP by which its title song offers a trip through her mind. A foreboding energy looms throughout its five songs as she brings listeners on an introspective journey. Perera tells us about the ideas behind the record and the “visual riddle” of its cover art.

The idea for the song ‘Drive’ came to me when...

I laid down the first part of the vocal over the mic without having written it on a paper or in my phone. For me, it’s the vibe of the music in itself which inspires the first words. Something in the warmth of that bass transported me somewhere. I had laid down the bass line and finger clicks and that’s what inspired the words and melody. It’s like I get into character when the music pulls me into the role. If I like how I sound in the world I have created, it gives me the vibe and confidence to paint the picture.

I named the EP after this song because...

It’s simple. The reasons and the cause and the journey; reflecting on the things that have happened to us and how we have been formed and the motor that drives us. The funny thing is that I don't have a driving license; I grew up next to a motorway in London and I live in the country that created the Autobahn.

With the music, I wanted to create...

A cultural, social, emotional, entertaining and empowering way to deal with and re-interpret and address the shit that happens to us and around us. For me, creativity is the only way to deal with stuff. I also love to collaborate and join forces. Music is a glue for us to congeal. I am as much part of that as you are. It’s a chance for us to influence each other and provide a kind of food for the collective us. It is a cultural language we create together. It’s something money cannot create and its actually our truest collective strength as people.

When writing the lyrics I was inspired by...


The effects I put on my voice; I would have never made the line “Hope you don't cry”[featured in the title song] a hook part if it hadn’t been something I’d built by editing and creating layers and textures. I’d probably be way too scared of the emotionality of a line like that to be able to sing it eight times in a row and think of it as a hook while I’m doing it. It’s like I need the production process to allow me to put down something so vulnerable and not feel it’s contrived. I carved the hook out of sound design and built the emotionality of that part through sound design.

The EP artwork shows...

It is actually almost like a visual riddle: What is powering what? What is driving what? What is progress and technology? Why is the cable blue?
I’m so thankful to have worked with my friend Hugo Holger Schneider and Joi Bix on this. They made the whole hat accessory themselves. Loads of love and labour was involved and through some kind of flash of creative genius they came up with this together and all I could say was yes and trust - ultimate respect for these homies.

For the ‘Purple Sea’ video, I wanted...

To include my own reality into elsewhere. You see that in most Perera Elsewhere videos - the interplay between realism and surreal dimensions. There is a lot of search and journeying in my music. The journey is so much in our heads and our heads are a green screen actually: anything can be put in there! It’s what you choose to create as your reality.

Making this EP, I have learned...


I became more focused, I guess. My last album was made over the course of 3 years so I had to attempt to gel together different sounds as the material was made over a longer period of time. I made this EP in about 6 months. It’s very synth-heavy. I chose to be a little more beat-oriented. I feel freer when I’m making beats and instrumentals for other vocalists too. I totally enjoy processing their voices and digging for the best bits.

I am less dogmatic about arrangements than before and I’m more willing to change stuff in order to make an arrangement work rather than getting attached to some mad details which I want to keep but actually don't really song structure for the listener. I also got faster at finishing tracks even though I do still torture myself at times with arrangements. It’s decision making that can be the hardest for me. A deadline helps me a lot in just hurrying the fuck up!

My next project will...

Involve more collaborations because I have a dope studio in Berlin and like to invite people over like vocalists, instrumentalists, producers. There will probably be some more bass-heavy, beat-oriented stuff because I have been pimping and transforming my two live shows (the solo set-up and the band set-up). Somehow I feel inspired to make more beat-driven stuff for my live shows and some wild mega pitched post-apocalyptic doom-jazz trumpet noise shizzle because it just goes off like that live! I enjoy that energy on the stage and my drummer Toto Wolf is amazing. Together with the visuals, it’s epic!

The Drive EP is out now. For more updates on Perera Elsewhere, check out her official Facebook page.